Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Well, this being a Catholic country, the people don't start their countdown to Easter with anything as mundane as a pancake race. No, the burghers of Torres Vedras take to the streets in a five day orgy of dressing up and drinking.

Of course, being averse to such frivolity, I headed inland to the Alentejo for the first few days, taking advantage of my holiday time to see a bit more of the country.

However, I didn't want to miss all the fun, so yesterday we went and had a look at the final parade. The carnival in T.V. is famous as "the most Portuguese in Portugal" and has a lot of very good floats. This year's theme was "The People of the World", which was the cue for hundreds of people to dress in the crudest stereotypes of Egyptians, Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiians, Native Americans, Austrians and gypsies. There were also a good few dressed as Scots; seeing them cavort around drunkenly reminded me of Edinburgh on a Saturday night.

Here is a video I took of one of the floats. The tradition here is to throw balls of paper to the crowds, who then throw them back - less dangerous than the Mardi Gras beads, eggs and kittens chucked about in some other towns.

Here are some more snaps of the other major floats:

1 comment:

Rebirth 2.0 said...

Yo Ho Ho. Well, that looks like a fun carnival. Hope you had a nice Chinese New Year, and reply to my mails you scoundrel!